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Computer Science

The department offers a BS and BA in Computer Science and a BS in Information Technology. Our BS program in Computer Science is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. ABET assures quality for degree programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. The BS program provides a rigorous education in theory and practice of Computer Science in addition to outside science courses. Our BA program provides a similar education in the theory and practice of Computer Science with more of an emphasis on outside humanities. Either degree can be used as a basis for many jobs in industry or for graduate work in Computer Science and other fields. We have an Honors Program for students who complete an Honors Thesis.

We offer the Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Science for non-degree seeking students, and for matriculated students who are majoring in other fields. We also provide a CS105 course introducing computer literacy for non-majors.

The Undergraduate Certificate provides a fundamental core education in Computer Science that may be appropriate for students who need a Computer Science education in their career field. It may also be beneficial for students having undergraduate degrees in other fields who want to demonstrate their competency in Computer Science.

We offer a curriculum stressing software development. It provides training appropriate for students with interests in areas such as systems programming, compiler development, artificial intelligence, database management, and software engineering. An aptitude for logical reasoning and mathematics is needed to complete the major successfully, partly because designing programs to solve problems requires good problem solving skills and partly because some of the requirements are relatively advanced theoretical Computer Science and mathematics courses.

In addition to the BS in IT offered by the Computer Science Department, there are other opportunities for degrees or certificates in Information Technology within the University. The College of Advancing and Professional Studies CAPS, offers a Certificate in Information Technology earned from the College of Management. The College of Management also provides a Master’s program in Information Technology.

Registration

Currently enrolled students who wish to major in Computer Science or Information Technology should file a Declaration of Major form with the Registrar. CS majors need to declare the BS or BA degree, while IT majors need to include the track they wish to pursue.

New students who wish to work towards a BA or BS at UMass Boston must file the appropriate application with the Admissions Office. New students, who are not seeking a degree, but wish to earn the certificate in Computer Science, or matriculated students who wish to minor in CS, must file a Certificate Program Application form with the Registrar. The form must first be signed by the department chair. New students who wish merely to take courses may enroll as non-degree students. Transfer students should contact the Undergraduate Program Director, who can answer any questions about transfer credit for Computer Science course work done at another institution.

Degrees and Certificates

This section describes the various undergraduate degrees that the department offers. Please note that the requirements depend on whether or not you declared your major prior to September 1, 2002. Information for the Undergraduate Certificate Program in CS can be found here.

No course taken to satisfy a requirement for a degree or certificate may be taken Pass/Fail.

The Bachelor of Science Degree

The department requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in computer science, based on the date the major is declared, are given below. Our educational objectives in offering this degree may be found here and its student outcomes can be found here. Please also find our recent enrollment and graduation numbers.

Annual Enrollment of Undergraduate Majors in BS in Computer Science (Five-Year Trend):

Academic Year2010/112011/122012/132013/142014/15
Enrolled Students180216269257294

Annual Number of BS degrees awarded in Computer Science (Five-Year Trend):

Academic Year2010/112011/122012/132013/142014/15
BS Degree Awarded1016272230

Degree-seeking students must also satisfy the other requirements of the college such as the Core requirements, the English requirement, and the Writing Proficiency Examination requirement. These are not listed here.

BS in Computer Science/Major Declared September 1, 2002 or Later

The current department requirements are listed below:

  1. CS110 or CS115L; CS210; CS240; CS310; CS320L; CS341; CS410 (this will be the capstone course for the major); CS420; CS444; CS450; CS451 or CS651; and CS285L (students who declared their major prior to January 27, 2003 may replace CS285L with an additional Computer Science elective)

  2. Math140; Math141; and Math260; Math345

  3. Physics113; Physics181; Physics114; Physics182

  4. One science elective. Information on allowable electives may be obtained in the department office

  5. Two Computer Science electives chosen from: CS260; CS430; CS436; CS437; CS445; CS446; CS460; CS470; CS615; CS620; CS622; CS624; CS630; CS634; CS636; CS637; CS639; CS641; CS644; CS646; CS647; CS648; CS664; CS670; CS672; CS674; CS675; CS680.
    With prior permission it may be possible to take an independent study course in place of one of the above.

  6. At least four 300; 400; or 600 level Computer Science or Mathematics courses must be taken at UMass Boston. This limits the number of transfer courses that can be applied towards a degree.

  7. A major must maintain a C average (2.0 GPA) in all of the above. Only courses taken at UMass Boston are averaged

Sample Program for the Major

We present below a possible sequence of Mathematics and Computer Science courses leading to satisfaction of the department requirements in four years. We do not show courses in other departments.

This schedule is only an example; not a prescription or a recommendation. Programs of study will vary depending on students' interests and abilities. Stronger students may wish to do more than meet the minimal requirements.

  1. CS110, Math140
  2. CS210, Math141, Physics113, Physics181
  3. CS240, Math260 , Physics114, Physics182
  4. CS310, CS341, CS320L
  5. CS420, CS450, Math345
  6. CS444, CS451, science elective
  7. CS410, Computer Science elective
  8. CS285L, Computer Science elective

BS in Computer Science/Major Declared Prior to September 1, 2002

The requirements include: the same courses as required for the Bachelor of Arts degree prior to September 1, 2002 plus six science courses outside of the department of Computer Science. These courses must be suitable for majors in other sciences and must include Physics113 and Physics114 and a laboratory course. None of these six courses may be taken pass/fall. Information on allowable electives may be obtained in the department office.

Before deciding to invest the time necessary to take six outside science courses to earn a BS instead of a BA degree, a student should seriously consider strengthening his or her Computer Science background by electing to follow the current requirements for a BS declared after September 1, 2002. Please see your department advisor for guidance.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

The department requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Computer Science, based on the date the major is declared, are given below.

Degree-seeking students must also satisfy the other requirements of the college such as the Core requirements, the English requirement, and the Writing Proficiency Examination requirement. These are not listed here.

Some students may find that their scores on the department's placement test indicate that they are not yet qualified to take CS110 or Math140. Such students will begin their course work with Math130 (Pre-calculus) or possibly Math115 (College Algebra). Credits earned in those courses count toward the degree, but not toward the major.

BA in Computer Science/Major Declared September 1, 2002 or Later

The current department requirements are listed below:

  1. CS110 or CSL115; CS210; CS240; CS310; CS320L; CS341; CS420; and CS450
  2. Math140; Math141; and Math260
  3. Two applied computer science electives chosen from the following list. (One of these choices must be CS444; or CS451 which will be the capstone course for the major.) CS410; CS430; CS436; CS437; CS444; CS445; CS446; CS451; CS460; CS470; CS615; CS630; CS634; CS636; CS637; CS639; CS641; CS644; CS646; CS647; CS648; CS651; CS664; CS670; CS672; CS674; CS675; CS680. With prior permission it may be possible to take an independent study course in place of one of the above
  4. One theoretical elective from among: Math345; Math346; Math360; Math425; Math458; Math470; CS620; CS622; and CS624
  5. One additional elective; either theoretical; applied or CS260
  6. At least four 300; 400; or 600 level Computer Science or Mathematics courses must be taken at UMass Boston. This limits the number of transfer courses that can be applied towards a degree
  7. A major must maintain a C average (2.0 GPA) in all of the above. Only courses taken at UMass Boston are averaged

Sample Program for the Major

We present below a possible sequence of Mathematics and Computer Science courses leading to satisfaction of the department requirements in four years. We do not show courses in other departments.

This schedule is only an example, not a prescription or a recommendation. Programs of study will vary depending on students' interests and abilities. Stronger students may wish to do more than meet the minimal requirements.

  1. Math130 (if necessary)
  2. CS110, Math140
  3. CS210, Math141
  4. CS240, Math260
  5. CS310, CS320L
  6. CS341, CS420
  7. CS450, one applied elective, and one theoretical elective
  8. CS444 or CS451, and one additional elective

BA in Computer Science/Major Declared Prior to September 1, 2002

The department requirements are listed below:

  1. CS110 or CS115L; CS210; CS240; CS241/CS341; CS260 or an additional 400 level elective from the theoretical and applied electives listed below; CS310; CS320L; and CS420
  2. Math140; Math141; and Math260
  3. Two applied computer science electives from among: CS410; CS430; CS436; CS437; CS444; CS445; CS446; CS450; CS451; CS460; CS470; CS615; CS630; CS634; CS636; CS637; CS639; CS641; CS644; CS646; CS647; CS648; CS651; CS664; CS670; CS672; CS674; CS675; CS680. With prior permission it may be possible to take an independent study course in place of one of the above
  4. One theoretical elective from among: Math345; Math346; Math360; Math425; Math458; Math470; CS620; CS622; and CS624
  5. At least four 300; 400; or 600 level Computer Science or Mathematics courses must be taken at UMass Boston. This limits the number of transfer courses that can be applied towards a degree
  6. A major must maintain a C average (2.0 GPA) in all of the above. Only courses taken at Umass Boston are averaged

Sample Program for the Major

We present below a possible sequence of mathematics and Computer Science courses leading to satisfaction of requirements for the major in four years. We do not show courses in other departments.

This schedule is only an example; not a prescription or a recommendation. Programs of study will vary depending on students' interests and abilities. Stronger students may wish to do more than meet the minimal requirements.

  1. Math130 (if necessary)
  2. CS110, Math140
  3. CS210, Math141
  4. CS240, Math260
  5. CS310, CS320L
  6. CS341, CS420
  7. One applied and one theoretical elective
  8. One applied elective and one theoretical or applied elective

Information Technology

Guiding Principles

  • This is a hands-on, project-based program. Yes, you will be reading. But you will be working on projects, by yourself, in pairs and in teams. The projects will be the kind that you may encounter in the workplace.
  • The major is offered by two colleges: The College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Management. This makes for a better program; you get both the technical aspects and the business aspects of IT.
  • There is a core body of knowledge (provided by a core set of courses) that everyone masters. Then you choose a specific track in which to concentrate. There are also various electives from which you may choose.
  • Right now there are four tracks:
    1. System Administration
    2. Information Architecture
    3. Business Intelligence
    4. Computer Forensics
  • We are doing our best to cooperate with area community colleges, so that you can do many of your (100-level and 200-level) core courses there if you like, and finish your degree at UMB.
  • We are doing our best to work with the local public and commercial sectors so as to make sure we teach what is useful to you in the workplace.

What the Major Will Prepare You For

A BS in Information Technology will prepare you to work in the exciting information technology (IT) sector. It is designed for students who want to work in IT but who do not want to become programmers. (Those who do want to be programmers would major in either Computer Science or in MSIS).

At the moment, we offer four tracks:

  1. The System Administrator track prepares you for a career in system and network administration. The study of operating systems is a part of this track since networks are normally implemented based on a family of operating systems (e.g. cs.umb.edu is implemented using UNIX and umb.edu is implemented using Microsoft Windows). The Computer Science Department is well-placed to offer this track.

    SAGE, the System Administration Guild, a professional group of the Advanced Computing Systems Association, defines system administration as “Activities, which directly support the operations and integrity of computing systems and their use and which manage their intricacies. These activities minimally include system installation, configuration, integration, maintenance, performance management, data management, security management, failure analysis and recovery, and user support. In an inter-networked computing environment, the computer network is often included as part of the complex computing system.” System administrators solve different types of problems from programmers and software engineers, the traditional careers of computer science graduates.

  2. The Information Architecture (IA) track prepares you to be able to specify the requirements and overall architecture of a component-based system. The MSIS Department is well-placed to offer this track drawing upon its expertise in both business principles and technology.

    Information Architecture is concerned with structuring data in proper context, and defining user interactions. IA provides a blueprint that describes how information (not limited to web sites) is organized and structured. It has been described as identifying and leveraging patterns in data that make would-be-complex sets of information, increasingly easier to understand. As such the program will address information findability, information design, interaction design, search engine optimization and marketing, usability, systems user experience, and user interface design. Students will be exposed to common packaged solutions and coached on.

  3. The Business Intelligence is the technology that companies such as Amazon.com and Google use to take advantage of the enormous amount of data they collect and analyze. It is the technology with which Amazon.com knows what book to recommend you every time you login, Google knows how to rank the pages you are searching for, and banks decide whether to approve loan applications almost instantly. As organizations increasingly have to deal with “big data”, the number of job openings and the need for skilled professionals in this field will continue to increase.

  4. The Computer Forensics is a discipline of forensic science that combines elements of law and information technology to collect and analyze data from computer systems, networks, wireless communications, and storage devices in a way that is admissible as evidence in a court of law. CF is also the process of using scientific knowledge for collecting, analyzing, and presenting digital evidence to the courts. With the increasing use of computers to commit crimes and growing demand for computer-based data in civil proceedings, a need has rapidly developed for forensic experts to extract useful information from computer evidence.

The Courses You Will Take

In addition to the general education courses that all undergraduate students take, there are three kinds of IT courses in the program:

  1. There are eleven core courses, which are taken by everyone in the IT program.
  2. There are four to six courses comprising a track, which is a concentration in some specific area. The two tracks currently implemented are System Administration and Information Architecture.
  3. There are a number of elective courses from which you may choose. You must take 3 of these.
The Core Courses

There are nine core courses you take in the first two years:

IT110: IT Problem Solving (description | syllabus)
IT111L: Managerial Statistics (description | syllabus)
IT114L: Introduction to Java Part I (description | syllabus)
IT115L: Introduction to Java Part II (description | syllabus)
IT230L: Relational Databases (description | syllabus)
IT240L: Web Fluency (description | syllabus)
IT244: Introduction to Linux/Unix (description | syllabus)
IT246: Introduction to Networks (description | syllabus)
IT285L: Social Issues and Ethics in Computing (description | syllabus)

The System Administration Track

IT341: Introduction to System Administration (description | syllabus)
IT441: Network Services Administration (description | syllabus)
IT442: Windows System Administration (description | syllabus)
IT443: Network Security Administration (description | syllabus)

The Information Architecture Track

IT360: Enterprise Software (description | syllabus)
IT428: Introduction to Information Security (description | syllabus)
IT460: Integration Methodologies and Tools (description | syllabus)
IT461: System Analysis and Design (description | syllabus)

The Business Intelligence Track

IT370: Business Intelligence (description)
IT471: Data Warehousing (description)
IT472: Data Mining (description)

Two of the following elective courses

The Computer Forensic Track

Project Management, Electives and Capstone

Near the end of one’s study, one takes a project management course, three professional electives and a capstone course.

In addition to completing the core, the capstone, and the specialized track, students must complete three electives; electives will be selected in an appropriate area outside of IT (e.g. biology, computer science, finance, marketing, nursing, etc…) and are intended to support a student’s expected career path and interests.

Transfer Policy

Students transferring into the BS in IT, in either college, may transfer all 100-level and 200-level core courses, but no more courses in the major. That is, students must complete IT425 (Project Management) and IT485 (IT Capstone), and the courses in their chosen track at UMB.

Declaring or Changing a Track

To declare or change your track, please fill out a Major, Minor, Concentration Declaration Form available in the Computer Science office and put it in the mailbox of Glenn Hoffman.

Contact Information

Questions? Need additional information? Want to visit? Feel free to contact us.

  • Glenn Hoffman
    IT Program Director, Lecturer
    S-3-092A
    ghoffman [at] cs.umb.edu 617-287-4700

  • Wei Zhang
    IT Program Director, Associate Professor
    College of Management, Science & Info Sys
    M-5-239
    Wei.Zhang [at] umb.edu
    617-287-3946


This page was last modified on August 08, 2017
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